#TunefulTuesday: Jordan Mackampa – ‘One In The Same’


   

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Jordan Mackampa is a Coventry-born, singer-songwriter who has managed to combine his Congolese roots and Midlands upbringing and is deeply inspired by his mother’s love of the great soul singers, as such, Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers and Curtis Mayfield.

‘One In The Same’ is a combination of timelessly soulful vocals with catchy melodies, stunning harmonies and beautifully heartfelt lyrics, creating a captivating blend of folk and soul. The track was in fact co-written by Benjamin Francis Leftwich and Matt Ingram and produced by Cam Blackwood.

This is definitely the start of something magical for this artist and I look forward to hearing more from him in the months to come.

Unfortunately no music video exists for this track, as yet, but if one appears online, we’ll be sure to share it with you.

What are your thoughts of this singer-songwriter? Got a #TunefulTuesday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘One In The Same’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/one-in-the-same/1374225159?i=1374225843


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#Review: Isaac Gracie – Isaac Gracie (Self-Titled)


   

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Isaac Gracie is an incredibly talented singer-songwriter, hailing from London. From humble beginnings, his 2016 demo, ‘Last Words’ caused a big stir online, leading to the head of Universal Music flying over from LA just to see him perform, resulting in his signing to Virgin EMI. Now, in 2018, the songsmith is releasing his debut, self-titled album. Here’s what we have to say about it…

Isaac Gracie.jpg

Every so often an album comes along that is both exciting, inspirational and sonically diverse; groundbreaking even…this is definitely one of those albums! (The last album I felt like this about was Will Joseph Cook‘s Sweet Dreamer.)

Whilst growing up, Gracie’s father left the family home and since signing to Virgin EMI, his longterm relationship sadly ended, but out of the ashes of these life-influencing events came some fantastic songwriting material, resulting in this incredibly powerful debut. As such, throughout the album, there are strong themes of abandonment, guilt and heartbreak; this honest approach and willing exposure of his emotional vulnerabilities is nothing new to songwriting but the way it marries up with the instrumentation is simply marvellous.

Opening track, Terrified’ (think Elbow meets Harry Styles‘Two Ghosts’) chronicles Gracie’s own fears and insecurities surrounding the hype about him, singing, “I’m terrified that maybe, I wasn’t cut out for this.” He really needn’t worry though; he certainly is cut out for this!

‘Last Words’ is a huge track for him; it’s the song that kick-started the buzz about him and whilst it’s very different from the demo, he admitted that he spent quite some time playing around with different versions before settling on the one that’s now on the record. He’s managed to strike a great balance between the original demo, maintaining some of it’s raw essence but also brought more depth to it with the addition of strings. Imagine a track by The Beatles that’s been countryfied and you get this!

The brilliant blend of highs and lows, and fusion of indie, rock, country and latin flavours has genuinely created one of the most genre-bending albums heard in a long time!

‘The Death Of You & I’ is a personal favourite – it’s got an almost latin beat behind it before it unleashes a hidden ferocity. The calm verses that erupt into the heavy, chaotic choruses make this an intense and fun song which you can’t help but want to thrash around to, wildly. There’s even an almost salsa-esque breakdown before the final chorus, making this one of the most intriguing songs I’ve heard in years.

Other stand-out tracks include; ‘Running On Empty’, which is relatively mainstream and quite indie (like something you might expect to hear from The Killers or Maccabees), ‘Telescope’ with its beautiful overlapping vocals at the end, ‘That Was Then’, which has stunning, dynamic vocals, ranging from deep to falsetto, topped off with a powerful and melodic chorus and ‘When You Go’, which is a track you would expect to hear from the likes of The Barr Brothers or Vance Joy and be accompanied by a music video shot with an old, handheld, film-reel camera; it’s strongly folk flavoured.

Gracie has been quoted as saying that he set out to create the best record of all time and whilst there are bound to be people who have differing opinions, he certainly has created a masterpiece! The brilliant blend of highs and lows, and fusion of indie, rock, country and latin flavours has genuinely created one of the most genre-bending albums heard in a long time…yet somehow it still works as a comprehensive body of work that is uniquely identifiable as him. This is an album I am certain will make a big impact this year and will definitely carve out an exciting future for his music career. Utter brilliance!

Rating
4-5


‘Isaac Gracie’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/isaac-gracie/1345686455


Isaac Gracie on Spotify

Terrified (Official Video)

Silhouettes Of You (Official Video)

Last Words (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of Isaac Gracie’s self-titled debut album? Are you as much of a huge fan as us? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or chat to us about it via our socials.


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other reviews here:

Muzik Speaks Album Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#MellowMonday: Benjamin Francis Leftwich – ‘Summer’


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Benjamin Francis Leftwich is an English singer-songwriter from York. He released his debut album in 2011 but he’s now preparing to release the foll0w-up, on 19th August, called After The Rain.

His clear, folk influences and similarities to Damien Rice and José González make it the perfect song for #MellowMonday. ‘Summer’ is a fantastic song – the almost whispered vocals sit beautifully amongst the high-pitched and dancing guitar melodies. It’s evocative of a warm summer evening in a vast field in the English countryside.

What do you think of this track? Have you heard it before? Got anything similar for us to hear? Please leave your song recommendations in a comment below or tell us via Twitter and Facebook!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Summer’ is taken from the forthcoming album, After The Rain, and can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/summer/id1081985568?i=1081985774


#EventSpeaks: Careless Sons @ The Prince Albert, Brighton – 08/04/16


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In support of their new EP, Heartbreak MajorCareless Sons came to Brighton to play a show at The Prince Albert in Brighton, with support from Hickory Signals and The Wondersmiths.


Hickory Signals

Hickory Signals are a Brighton-based duo consisting of Laura Ward and Adam Ronchetti. The pair are an incredibly talented, multi-instrumentalist folk act. The singer, Laura has a very powerful voice which she uses to belt out some incredibly hard-hitting notes. She also played the flute and used a little box which emulates the sounds of the Indian sitar (I think!). Meanwhile, Adam sat on top of a cajon, tapped a tambourine with his foot and played the guitar, all at the same time. Some of their songs consisted of poetry which they had put to music, old Irish folk songs and original tracks. They were a marvel to behold and I thoroughly enjoyed it – they’re not my usual cup of tea, but they certainly won me over!

Highlights: The way some of their songs start off low-key and calm and ramp up to an energetic, entrancing crescendo. I personally liked their original track, ‘Take The Window’ best!


The Wondersmiths

Next up were The Wondersmiths; I’ll be honest, I started off definitely not a fan – there was an air of arrogance about this band’s frontman which made me feel slightly scathing towards them, however as the set went on, I actually found it rather endearing and was most definitely entertained by them! Apparently one of their songs was recently featured on This Morning too.

Chris Horncastle (the lead singer) was actually quite comedic and certainly put a lot of energy into the performance, at times jumping into the crowd to get them singing along. The bassist was in fact a stand-in (due to their bassist having an injury) and for only 2 weeks practise in the band, you wouldn’t have known at all! Some of the harmonies provided by the guitarist and keys players were phenomenal too!

I have to say, this band have something unique going on and if you’re into electro-indie music, they’re definitely the band for you.

Highlights: The energy this band put into their performance is commendable and their harmonies were tight! I liked the fact that they got the audience involved too.


Careless Sons

Careless Sons were the headline act and were playing in support of their upcoming EP release, Heartbreak Major. I have only recently discovered the band, after they gave us a follow on Twitter and subsequently managed to get myself invited to their Brighton show.

I was rather impressed by them as they have really honed their skills pretty perfectly – their sound is incredibly tight and they play their instruments with precision timing. They have all the makings of a very successful act!

The harmonies offered by the band were great and it was refreshing to see that while there is clearly a lead singer, the guitarist and bassist took their turn at lead vocals on some songs too. There are some great songs which have been written by the band and it is clear that they must’ve spent quite a long time crafting their sound. While it might not be everyone’s cuppa tea, their abilities and dedication to their art should be admired and if you’re an indie-rock lover, then these guys will definitely be up your alley!

There were a range of dedicated fans and newcomers to the band at the show and it appeared to be enjoyed by all. The guys were all very friendly and made sure to stick around both before and after the show to chat to people. What a great bunch of guys putting on a great evening!

Highlights:

  • High energy in some of their songs.
  • Sharing of lead vocals across several members of the band.
  • The perfect timing with which the members play their instruments.
  • Great vocal harmonies.
  • Clear conviction about what they play.

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All of the great photos in this post are credited to Elliot McRae.
Go and give him a follow – @EMcraePhoto


 Setlist

Don’t Make Me Do This Again*
Up To My Eyes
GBH
Rosary*
Couldawoulda
That Was Love
It Was Only A Matter Of Time
Bring Out Your Dead
Heartbreak Major
Wasted Avenue
Betty
Carbon Dating*
The Bitter End

These songs can be viewed in the YouTube playlist, below.


Thanks so much to Careless Sons for putting myself and Elliot on the guest list, so we could come and do this review and take snaps! Keep up the great work guys!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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